The storied French Delage brand is coming back. But the bigger surprise is what it will debut with and how can it be street-legal as claimed? Yes, what you’re looking at is claimed to be street-legal. It’s a two-seater and is designed to be “the closest to the sensation of driving a Formula One car that has ever been experienced in a street-legal car.”
Delage was the World Champion of Car Builders in 1927
So says Delage CEO Laurent Tapie. Delage was the World Champion of Car Builders in 1927. It won the Indy 500 in 1914. And it has been the basis for some of the loveliest cars ever built. Since 1996 a Delage has taken Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance three times.
Overhead cam V12s, twin-overhead straight-eights; it represented exotic, technically superior vehicles. Delahaye acquired the company in 1935 and by the early-1950s was gone. But it left an impressive legacy of race cars and touring cars, too. Tapie is looking to pick up where Delage left off.
Delage wants to be the fastest street-legal car at Nurburgring
He wants the D12-the name of this first series car, to be the fastest street-legal car at Nurburgring. That is currently held by the Lamborghini Aventador at 6:44.97 seconds. To do this the D12 GT version will be powered by a 7.6-liter V12 naturally aspirated. Alone it produces 900 hp. But it will also be aided by an electric motor mounted inside of the eight-speed automated manual transmission. That adds 110 hp for a total of 1,100 hp.
All of the body panels are carbon fiber. So are the wheels. They have been designed to channel air for cooling the brakes. Both the steering wheel and carbon fiber seat and leg support will be molded around the driver.
Delage says zero-to-62 times are 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 233 mph
A second “Club” version also has an electric motor with 20 added hp. According to literature while the heavier GT is quicker the Club is faster around a circuit. Advertising claims zero-to-62 times are 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 233 mph.
Delage has been quietly building a development team and financing. So far Tapie has found 10 investors but is looking to add more. While Tapie’s father is billionaire Bernard Tapie he has not invested in Delage. There will be 30 D12s built at around $2.3 million each. Two have been sold already through Newport Beach Automotive Group which is its Los Angeles-area dealer. Deliveries will begin next year.
The technical team has 16 FIA World Championship titles among them
Supposedly, the entire technical team has 16 FIA World Championship titles among them. The technical director is Benoît Bagur who has seen time with Citroën Sport, Seat, VW Sport, and Ligier. Formula One champ Jacques Villeneuve is a test driver for Delage.
Of course, Tapie is only beginning. He has plans for an outrageous second Delage. This one will be propelled by “a revolutionary turbine that’s been in development for 12 years, and will also take advantage of some innovative aerodynamic technology.” Tapie says, “We really see ourselves as a technology company.”